Today's Lectionary Text
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
“So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
One of the fondest memories I have from high school was when the Acapella choir would conclude its portion of the concert singing Peter Lutkin’s version of “The Lord Bless and Keep You.” The haunting melody with the closing waves of its seven-fold “amen” still resonates all these years later.
As a choir, we would hold hands with one another as we sang it. Through our voices and our hands, it was as though we were blessing one another. As a young adult preparing to enter the ministry, I had my local church choir sing it. When I was in Course of Study, I was blessed to direct the CoS choir, as it sang it. When I was in seminary, I think we sang it once or twice at my request. Even today, when I conclude a graveside service, I will often end it with the Aaronic blessing.
Perhaps the reason the song resonates with me is because I feel God’s blessing within it. Just as God was promising Aaron that God would bless the Israelites, God repeatedly does the same for you and for me. All that’s necessary for us to receive the blessing in any and all circumstances is to simply welcome it.
While I don’t know if my high school carried on the tradition of “The Lord Bless and Keep You”, I do know that if it is still in place, I could return to the town where I grew up and attend one of the school concerts, and be invited onto the stage with the young people singing it today, as an alumni, and join them singing it, and I’m positive I could hit the same bass notes I did when I was in high school.
-- Rev. Mark Crist
Holdrege First UMC
Prayer for Reflection
God, in these strange times in which we find ourselves, may your blessings shower us as you keep us, and may your countenance fall upon us so there may be peace. Amen.
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